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Approximately 15 years ago I lived on Mainland Australia and working full time. My kids at home were in Year 8 and Year 10. On a Thursday evening I arrived home from work with a sore leg. Next morning I arrived at work, my left foot was cold and numb, the pain in my leg was horrendous. I ended up at the doctors. She rushed me to hospital to see if I had ‘Deep vein Thrombosis’ but the tests came back clear. She could not explain it, but was worried. She wanted me in hospital for tests. I think she was worried I was going to lose my leg. After a week I was kicked out of hospital as they needed the bed for aged care. I left without a diagnosis. I was given a month off work, I wasn’t allowed to walk, and my job involved me walking a fair bit.

Over the next few months, I had test after test, they found I had the True Sciatica. The pain was so bad, from my left hip to my big toe. Panadol and Panadiene Forte was given. I saw a surgeon but he wouldn’t do anything, even seeing specialists in Melbourne. All I was told was I would never work again.

We moved to Tasmania, bought a lovely old home to settle in and to hopefully do gardening, painting inside and work around the yard. I found a great GP who understood me. He referred me to the Pain Management Clinic in Hobart. It was there that I finally recieved a diagnosis. I had 2 collapsed discs, no fluid between the vertebrae, osteoarthritis up and down the spine from the neck down. I ended up having surgery on the collapsed discs, in hospital for many weeks. It didn’t work, so 12 months later they took out what they put in. I was left worse off.

For the last 8 years, I have had to change my medications many times, from Liquid Morphine, to industrial strength Oxycontin, more and more. I am on so many different medications, some days I can’t stay awake. I can’t walk anywhere for too long, I can’t do any gardening, my life went from having lots of friends and going out every day to work, cooking, cleaning etc. To: doing nothing. I lost my friends because I couldn’t sit long enough to talk to them, I couldn’t cook anymore, no cleaning and I had to ask my hubby to do so much, the guilt was eating me up. We tried different things to fix my back to be told that surgery would never help, so I had to learn to cope with the pain.

I met a couple of ladies on facebook, they also suffered chronic pain, so I started a group called “Chronic Pain Sufferers Support Group”, with those lovely ladies, we now have over 180 members and we are there to help. Come and join us if you need to talk.

How do you learn? Who teaches you? I have been to psychologists, they help but sitting at home by myself day in day out, constantly asking my hubby to make lunch, dinner, could he help me into the shower, watching him getting sick because he does so much. At times I thought It would be easier on everyone if I wasn’t around, then Hubby would feel better, he wouldn’t be so tired and busy around the house. Then came the grandchildren, one after the other. Three grandkids live close by, When they come around it lights up my life, I have even lost 32 kilograms with help from a dear friend who lives near Melbourne. She helped me step by step. I walked for a bit to the shops with my granddaughter, they have given me a renewed sense of life. When Bree comes to stay for a sleepover, she just loves her nanna, Chloe loves her grumps. Little Skyla’s second name was named after my second name. I love seeing them, it is amazing what a child can do to you.

I get help now when I need it, I can feel me falling into the deep black hole, so if you go through the same sort of thing please see your GP. If I did commit suicide many years ago, when I first thought of it, I would have missed out on all 7 of my grandchildren. They are all beautiful, whom I love very much. They all give me something to live for. I am and will always be in the same situation with my back and legs, that will never change, but my attitude to life has changed. There is nothing better to have a 4 year old say “I love you so much nan” and a 2 year old say “I love you nan, lots and lots and lots”. My heart melts when I look at photo’s of all of my kids and grandkids.

If you are suffering and need to talk, please message me, or visit my group on facebook, or just ring Lifeline, or visit your GP. There is always someone out there to help. It is hard to see things clearly through the mist sometimes. Thank you.


Posted by dee lindsay, 28th March 2014


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  • A few years ago on a Sunday night a guy rang in on a talk back program threatening to commit suicide and mentioned he had a big bottle of tablets. The radio guy managed to keep him talking while another one rang what was then Telecom, expalined the situation and asked it they could start to try to trace the call, that they had a another staff member calling the Police. Luckily the Police were able to trace the call and went straight to the house the guy lived in. Fortunately it was late at night so the Police just used their lights and no sirens so the guy had no idea they were going there. The Police also arranged an Ambulance and asked them not to use sirens if they could avoid it.They got there in time to save him and rush him to hospital. He was then transferred to a Physicatric Hospital. We were told on air that the Police and Ambulance had saved him, taken him to hospital to make sure he hadn’t actually taken any tablets or anything else, then transferred. Just to let all the listeners know the guy was safe and getting the treatment he needed. His call was virtually a cry for help. He obviously never thought to ring Lifeline, but inm that case he may not have got help quick enough.
    Unfortunately under oath and the Privacy Act, unless something drastic happens the Dr. has to rely on his/her patient saying something. We found that out after we suspected my Dad was mixing his tablets up and “going off his head” then physically pushed somebody out of his way instead of saying excuse me or walking around the person.

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  • So strong and inspriational! Glad you are still here for you little grandchildren!
    I am sure they love you to bits xxxx

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  • You are one of the bravest people I have come across, not only continuing on with constant pain and difficulty but helping others to also continue. I do love what the grandchildren have brought to your life and you are so important to them too.

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  • i think i needed to read this!

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  • its great you have found the support you needed, I wish you all the best

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  • You are very inspirational in what you have done and the help and support you have spread to others while studying with your own pain is amazing. Well done!

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  • I think this is a story that too many Australians need to read. So many people suffer in silence and it’s so important that they read stories like yours and know that they’re not alone and to keep looking for the help that they need. Good on you for persevering. Your grandchildren are lucky to have you.


    • Thank you sweetie, you are so kind, as all of these comments.

      I agree that more Australian’s need to know that they are not alone. After I started the group we found a few young people were going to commit suicide until they joined the group. Luckily we were able to prevent it happening, but I can understand why they wanted to end their life. I have been told that I should write a book, so much has happened in my life that it would be inspirational. I have been thinking about it.

      Thank you so very much. You are a beautiful person. I wish you all the best in the future.
      xxx Dee



      • My husband lives in constant pain and it takes it toll on the family.

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  • it’s great that you have done so much and started a page to help others. I understand how you feel and felt Hubby and I were in a car accident just over 5 years ago when I had a long weekend from work and we have been through it all and can’t do alot in the way of cleaning the house to this day as I was in a wheel chair for 3 years and am left with many problems and Hubby has alot as well his back was injured he has a broken sternum that will never fuse and he has no feeling in both legs to half way above his knees and is on a cocktail of meds were as I decided to go off all meds as they put me in a dark place and learn to live with the pain. We have lost friends don’t get invited to things and as we live in rural feel very alone at times than out of the blue Miss 7 will be bored and one of our Grand children will ring up just to tell us both how much she loves us and misses us and those things make it worth it when one of our Grandchildren get on the ph. Hope all goes well for you


    • My dear, you are much stronger than I can ever be. I want you to know you are not alone, neither is your hubby. You both have suffered so much, and as in my case, our grandchildren are like our pets – they give us unconditional love, and put a smile on our face which allows us to keep going. Thank you for your beautiful comments and If you ever want to talk, and you have facebook, find my group – Chronic Pain Sufferers Support Group, or me – Deanne Lindsay and add me as a friend. My profile pic is a baby giraffe. You and your husband would be more than welcome to join. We have quite a few men members too.

      take care and all the best
      xxx Dee

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  • u sounds like a strong lady 2 me :)

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  • You have done a wonderful thing in starting your support group. You are a strong lady.

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  • I Hope That One Day You Will Be Pain Free, And Yes Kids Are Wonderful

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  • Thank you for letting us know about this

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